Yacht rock before the invention of yacht rock, “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” was a song I heard often while growing up. Particularly during my teenage years, my grandmother had a tendency to blast music throughout the house we grew up in. If it wasn’t the Christian radio station, it was Lite FM, New York’s legendary easy listening/adult contemporary radio outlet. Before the format played more current music, it leaned heavily on smooth songs from the ‘70s. “Brandy” was one of the smoothest.
Poor Brandy. She’s a waitress/bartender at some seaport. The men who frequent the establishment comment on what a good wife Brandy would be (or maybe they’re just saying that to get some play. I hear it gets lonely out on the sea.) Brandy, however, is not paying the seamen any mind. She thinks of a long-lost lover who ditched her to sail the seas, and the catchy “do-do-do-do-do-do” refrain minimizes the fact that this is a sad fucking song.
Elliott Lurie is the lead singer of The Looking Glass, and boasts a very distinctive singing voice. I met him maybe a year ago as I was leaving the Radio Free Brooklyn studio. He was coming in to appear on the show after mine, and I was introduced. After sticking my hand out, he offered a “hello”. There are a lot of bands from yesteryear with replacement members, and it’s not difficult to imagine that there are lots of folks out there bilking the public with claims of being a member of some one hit wonder group. After hearing Lurie’s speak, though, there was no doubt he was the guy who sang “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)”. That voice is unmistakable.